SPRING NIGHT (1935)
Article 4857 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Tatiana Tuttle
Featuring Charles Arnt, Nana Gollner, David Lichine
What it is: Dramatic ballet short
A girl wanders into a park at night and falls asleep near a status of Pan. She dreams that the statue comes to life and dances with her.
The crawl at the opening of this short describes it as an experiment in dramatic ballet, and I would say the experiment is rather successful. For one thing, it chooses to be cinematic rather than stagebound. It’s also not all dance; the first half of the short is told in a more straightforward manner, and the dancing doesn’t start until after the statue comes to life. The dancing is very good, and there’s even a slightly erotic feel to the short, which is surprising for a movie from this era. The short has a good visual sense, and even manages to tell a bit of a story during its run. I quite liked it, and I’m not even a fan of ballet.